Kevn Kinney is an acclaimed Rock and Folk singer, songwriter and performer
most widely known as the founder and frontman of the Atlanta-based rock band Drivin N Cryin.
An accomplished musician, poet, and painter, Kinney has released multiple critically-acclaimed recordings over his 30+ year professional career including the gold-certified album Fly Me Courageous. He is well-known for his collaborations with the Allman Brothers’ Warren Haynes, REM, and Grammy Award-winning producer Paul Ebersold, among others.
Executive Producers of F/X Network’s hit TV show Archer asked Kinney to produce 12 tracks (five of which were pre-existing DNC/KK songs and three were written anew for the series) for season 5 debuting January 13, 2014.
Kevn Kinney has just released his first solo record in more than a decade, also his first vinyl since 1990’s MacDougal Blues. Featuring R.E.M. co-founders Peter Buck and Bill Berry, as well as Brad Morgan of Drive-By Truckers, Laur Joamets (Drivin N Cryin, Midland, Sturgill Simpson) and more, the star-studded Think About It has its roots in the introspective solitude of the pandemic, and also the passing of Kinney’s old friend, the iconic oddball musical/improvisational genius and lighting-rod philosopher Col. Bruce Hampton.
Recorded in indie-music mecca Athens, GA and helmed by ex-Sugar bassist and sought-after producer/engineer David Barbe (Drive-By Truckers, Lee Bains, Son Volt), the album showcases just about everything Kinney excels at, while also revealing some new facets of an artist who never stops reflecting, evolving and chasing his muse. There’s downhome alt-country and Americana (“Half Mast,” “Close the Door”); creepy, forlorn folk (“Catching Up to Myself”); chiming, hook-heavy jangle rock (“Scarlet Butterfly,” “Stop Look Listen Think”); finger-snapping beatnik jazz and spoken word (“Think About It,” “Shapeshifter Grifter,” “Never the Twain Shall Meet”); as well as some noticeably fresh turns with the almost proggy, flute-anchored trad folk of “Down in The City” and the gorgeous, string-laden torch song “Wishes.”
The title Think About It is borne of covid-lockdown self-reflection, but it goes beyond that, the record offering alternately abstract and pointed critiques of modern instant-gratification social-media and cell-phone culture, where hyper-connected people clutter their lives with digital detritus until there’s no space left to wonder or dream.
“It's a very introspective and lonely record, and a very personal record for me,” Kinney says. “Really, it’s a record for people to listen to by themselves. There's a lot of longing and thinking in it. I grew up in a version of America and the world before even answering machines or Star 69. The album expresses this desire to have time to actually ponder and reflect—like, give me a minute, let me think about it.”
Loneliness—as Think About It suggests—can be a positive thing, if approached with the right mindset. “I think a lot of people these days are afraid to be by themselves or to not be connected,” Kinney says. “Being alone is an important part of life. By default, I’m lonely a lot of the time, when I have those long drives on tour doing solo shows. All by myself, I load in, I do the show, go to the hotel by myself, drive home by myself. And I think when you embrace the loneliness, there can be enlightenment in that. And that idea is central to Think About It. The whole record is a Jim Jarmusch black-and-white soundtrack to being lonely, and just sitting on a park bench by yourself—all the conversations we have with ourselves while sitting alone waiting to do things, doing our best to be our best, and wondering, ‘Am I in touch with my ego? Am I in touch with who I think I am? With who I thought I was gonna be? Is this the payoff? Is the payoff coming? What even is that, and where do I stand in the world?”
Drivin N Cryin was honored in 2011 by the State Of Georgia with House Resolution 387, recognizing the band members for their contributions to the arts and for their ongoing charitable efforts. In 2015 they were inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame alongside Gregg Allman, Sam Cooke, and others. In 2020, Kevn Kinney was inducted into his home state of Wisconsin's Songwriter Hall of Fame.
Kevn continues to tour, both solo and with Drivin N Cryin, around the world often.